Sunday, December 18, 2005
Brooklyn Bridge Ghosts
Heard that the famous poet Hart Crane was composing his "To Brooklyn Bridge" while living in a room in Brooklyn overlooking the bridge itself in clear view. Only after he'd composed it did he learn that Washington Roebling, who, after his father, was Chief Engineer during construction of the bridge for decades, had lived in, and watched from the same window of, the very same room. Roebling was nearly paralyzed in 1879 from decompression bends while working on the bridge and his wife Emily took on the supervison while he remained in the room for four years, finally witnessing it's completion - from the window - in 1883.
the last three verses of Crane's poem:
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.
Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City's fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .
O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.
-- Hart Crane